How Effective Are Herbal Treatments for Cats?

Herbal treatments can be a very effective way of treating pets that are ill or subject to bothersome pests, such as fleas and parasites. Though herbal treatments are generally all-natural and derived from plant or mineral sources, you must be extremely careful when selecting herbal treatments for cats. Cats possess a unique and delicate physiological makeup and certain herbs and essential oils that can produce toxicity and become fatal.

Essential Oils and Cats

Herbal treatments containing essential oils should be avoided for use with cats. This includes direct use of essential oils and products containing these oils, such as flea collars, shampoos and herbal recipes. A cat's body does not metabolize essential oils the way animals of other species can, and a cat's thin skin can absorb these oils quickly, where they enter directly into the bloodstream. A toxic buildup of the natural chemicals contained in essential oils does not produce any health benefits for cats and could become lethal over time. Despite the lack of noticeable symptoms after using these products, continued use could result in death for your cat.

Herbs Safe for Your Cat

The basis of herbal treatments is generally the use of one or a combination of herbs that are known to have a positive effect on certain types of illness or infection. Herbs are extremely effective when selected carefully and used properly. Before choosing an herbal treatment, research possible solutions directed at the exact problem your cat is facing. Unlike traditional medications, herbal treatments do not need to be continued for a lifetime, because they aren't aimed at covering up symptoms, but rather treating the cause.

It's best to try an herbal treatment for a couple of weeks and then discontinue use for at least a week. This will prompt your cat's immune system to strengthen and work at fixing the problem on it's own, plus it will give you a perspective on whether or not continuation of the treatment is necessary. Be sure to administer the recommended dosage based on your cat's weight. Spreading the dosage over a period of time rather than giving all at once may be beneficial as well.


Tinctures are often the most effective way to administer herbal treatments to cats and other animals. Tinctures are created for both external and internal use, but often contain alcohol. Alcohol is not safe for use is cats, so before you begin using this kind of treatment, you must either look for a brand that contains an alternative to alcohol or dilute the tincture considerably.

In order to dilute, you must follow a boiling procedure appropriate for the particular remedy. Research may uncover herbal treatments that are created especially for cats, and you may find these products online, at a pet store or at your local organic food store. Always be sure you're informed as to what the exact ingredients are and how your cat may react to them.